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Key Statistics on Immigrant Retention Rates in Canada (2022)

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Immigrant Retention Rates in Canada

Canada’s demographic landscape is continually reshaped by immigration, a vital force driving the nation’s population growth, especially as the country grapples with an aging populace and historically low fertility rates. The efficacy of immigration is not solely in the influx of newcomers but significantly in their retention within the provinces and territories they initially choose as their new home. The 2022 Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) sheds light on this critical aspect, revealing the retention rates of immigrants across Canada—one and five years post-admission—highlighting disparities and trends that could steer future policies.

Provincial Retention Rates: A Closer Look

The IMDB data for 2022 offers intriguing insights into how various Canadian provinces and territories fare in retaining immigrants. The most recent cohorts, admitted between 2012 and 2016, show that Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta boast the highest five-year retention rates. For instance, Ontario retained 93.1% of its 2016 immigrant cohort after five years, underscoring its appeal as a long-term residence for newcomers. Conversely, the Prairie provinces and territories have witnessed declines, with Saskatchewan and Manitoba experiencing notable drops in their five-year retention rates.

Key Statistics on Immigrant Retention Rates in Canada (2022)

  • High Retention in Key Provinces:
    • Ontario showcased a five-year retention rate of 93.1% among immigrants admitted in 2016.
    • British Columbia and Alberta followed closely with retention rates of 87.3% and 84.5%, respectively, for the same cohort.
  • Challenges in the Prairies and Territories:
    • Saskatchewan saw a significant decline, with the five-year retention rate dropping to 57.9% in 2016 from 72.2% in 2012.
    • Manitoba’s five-year retention rate decreased from 75.1% (2012 cohort) to 64.1% (2016 cohort).
    • The territories experienced an 8.7% decrease in the five-year retention rate from the 2012 cohort to the 2016 cohort.
  • Positive Trends in the Atlantic Provinces:
    • New Brunswick’s five-year retention rate for the 2016 cohort reached 56.0%, indicating a positive trend.
    • Prince Edward Island, despite having the lowest rate in Canada at 30.9% for the 2016 cohort, saw an increase of 5.7 percentage points from the 2012 cohort.
  • Retention by Admission Category:
    • Family-sponsored immigrants had the highest five-year retention rate at 91.7% for the 2016 cohort.
    • Refugees had a five-year retention rate of 86.4% for the same cohort.
    • Economic immigrants showed a downward trend, with a drop from 82.1% (2012 cohort) to 77.9% (2016 cohort) in the five-year retention rate.
  • Impact of AIPP in the Atlantic Region:
    • The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) positively influenced retention rates, with Nova Scotia witnessing a 42.4 percentage point increase in the one-year retention rate for skilled immigrants from the 2016 to the 2020 cohort.

These bullet points encapsulate the critical data from the Stats Can 2022 Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB), highlighting the varied retention rates across different provinces, territories, and immigrant categories in Canada.

The Atlantic Surge

Interestingly, the Atlantic provinces, traditionally facing challenges in retaining immigrants, are witnessing an upturn. New Brunswick, for instance, reached its peak five-year retention rate for the 2016 cohort at 56.0%, signaling a positive shift. This change is pivotal, reflecting the potential impact of initiatives like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), aimed at bolstering immigrant retention in the region.

Diverse Outcomes by Admission Categories

The retention rates also vary significantly across different admission categories. Family-sponsored immigrants and refugees consistently exhibit high retention rates, emphasizing the role of familial and community ties in settlement decisions. Economic immigrants, particularly those admitted through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and skilled worker categories, have shown a downward trend in retention rates, spotlighting areas for policy enhancement to sustain their stay in the intended provinces.

Implications and Prospects

The nuanced understanding of provincial and territorial retention rates is more than statistical data—it’s a mirror reflecting the varied experiences of immigrants across Canada. These insights are invaluable for policymakers to tailor strategies that not only attract but also retain newcomers, ensuring they have the necessary infrastructure and services to thrive. For provinces like Saskatchewan and Manitoba, addressing the factors contributing to lower retention could transform their demographic and economic landscapes.

Moving Forward

As Canada continues to navigate its demographic challenges, the role of immigration remains pivotal. The findings from the 2022 IMDB highlight the critical need for tailored, region-specific strategies to enhance immigrant retention, ensuring that Canada remains a welcoming and sustainable home for newcomers from around the globe. For prospective immigrants and stakeholders alike, understanding these patterns is key to making informed decisions and fostering a future where every province and territory thrives through the contributions of its diverse population.

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